ZACC Probes Lab Centres Issuing Fake Covid-19 Results

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By Anna Chibamu

THE Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) is investigating several medical laboratory centres following widespread reports they were issuing fake Covid-19 certificates.

The anti-corruption body spokesperson John Makamure confirmed to Tuesday it had received information implicating a number of laboratories for fraudulently issuing fake Covid-19 results.

However, he declined to identify the laboratory centres that were under investigation.

“Yes I can confirm we have several of those laboratories that have been implicated but we are investigating the allegations. I cannot say which ones by now because we are still carrying out investigations,” said Makamure.

In an earlier statement issued Tuesday ZACC said: “Following recent reports of a scam involving the issuance of fake Covid-19 test results by a local private laboratory testing centre, the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission has received reports implicating other testing centres.

“The commission is highly concerned that this scam seems to be widespread and is derailing government efforts to contain the pandemic. A ZACC crack team has been put in place to probe these reports in order to swiftly bring the culprits to book.

“The Commission would like to strongly warn the perpetrators of this corrupt practice that the long arm of the law will descend heavily on them. Related to this scam are reports of wide spread theft of personal protective equipment (PPEs) from government health institutions and selling of the stuff on the black market.”

Earlier this month, Clinical Diagnostics Lab, a privately owned laboratory linked former health minister, was exposed of issuing negative Covid-19 certificates to travellers who would not have undergone any tests.

The laboratory has since been closed to allow for further investigations. People travelling out of the country need to have valid Covid-19 negative certificates.